A new coalition of Canadian companies and education organizations is to be created. The Coalition for 21st Century Learning and Innovation (C21 Canada) will be a not for profit organization with a mandate to advocate for 21st Century models of learning in public education. The coalition wishes to see 21st Century competencies, such as creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and culture, infused into curriculum, and an accelerated pace of integrating digital technology into Canadian classrooms in an effort to more fully engage students, the digital generation, in their learning.
The founding members of the organization met in Toronto on September 14th, 2011 and committed to moving forward with incorporation. The first Board of Directors meeting is slated for November.
The members consist of a unique blend of Canadian education associations and knowledge based companies. Representatives of the Canadian School Board Association and Canadian Education Association are both vocal advocates of shifting Canada’s public education systems to 21st Century models of learning. The knowledge based companies, often competitors in the education market, share the view that Canada needs to position itself with a high quality workforce equipped with 21st Century skills to be competitive in the global market. While there are pockets of innovative learning and teaching practices being witnessed in various regions of the country, the coalition wishes to see a more comprehensive, strategic, and accelerated national approach. The founding members of the coalition share the view that 21st Century models of learning are urgently required in public education to position students and Canada for success in the knowledge and digital age.
Companies and organizations represented in Toronto at the founding meeting of C21 Canada included Apple, Cisco, Dell, IBM, Microsoft, Nelson Learning, Pearson Education, Scholastic Canada, Smart Technologies, the Canadian School Board Association, Canadian Education Association, Toronto School Board Association, Education Research Development Incorporated (ERDI), and York University’s Institute for Research on Learning Technologies, 21st Century Learning Associates and MindShare Learning.
Attendees at the Toronto meeting also agreed to work collaboratively in identifying and inviting other business and education organizations to join the C21 Canada initiative. Companies or education organizations interested in learning more about the C21 Canada initiative are invited to contact John Kershaw at Kershaw@21stcenturylearningassociates.com or Robert Martellacci at Robert@mindsharelearning.com.